I’m hearing lots of creatives saying that they don’t know what to do now. The economic situation globally is really nasty and it’s scary. They’re worried that if the markets (as in stock) keep falling, they won’t have any work.
I say, turn off your TVs and stop reading about the problems on the ‘net. Just ignore what it happening and do your own work.
No, I’m not crazy.
Worrying about the stock market and the overall economic situation won’t do any good. You have pretty much no control over what is happening on Wall Street, so stop worrying about it. It will either get worse, stay the same, or get better in the short term (and it’s pretty much guaranteed to get better in the long term). Your teeny investments (big to you, maybe, but teeny on the whole scale) aren’t going to change the markets so just leave them be if you don’t absolutely need the money in the very near future.
Instead look at your own life and business and focus on that. What can you do to improve your business and your life–in the long term? If you are slow, use this time to work on your art. Learn something new. Read some trade books and general business books. Invest (time, especially) in changing your business to make it what you always wanted it to be (Judy Hermann can help you navigate that change).
Seth Godin has a good post on a related topic here–it takes effort to get where you want to go.
Of course, if you are in personal financial difficulties, you will have to make some tough choices and maybe do some things you never envisioned. Listen to what some of the best experts are suggesting (like Suze Orman or even better, your own financial planner who should be looking at these issues), choose a path, commit to it for the long term, and follow it. Even if you are in serious debt, you can make things better–it just takes time and effort.
By focusing on your own situation and those things you can control, your mental state will improve along with your personal financial state. It’s going to be a tough ride for a lot of us for a while. Take a breath and remember that this is a marathon, not a sprint.